5nn NAME AND $100 U U ADDRESS LABELS I ^ '''^■i.'mim 7»m s^s w si^f/m^'- } IW /IIOVING THIS £A5TLE BACK UWDER^TANP THflT TO THE STAH6F, EVERY 9TO^e OF ^ BUT 'T/? NOT (JUTE ■ ; -f>is wm:H wslf that fAi^m-^ 5Ay PWFU 5 fN THE 1?— -< RUINf ! THE fAm HAUNT? WHAT 1 ARE AfRAlP OF^ ' HflUNi;mNTPON TA HER'. J] ' TELL ftie THOSE fTURP ) FOOLS f^EALL/ THINK THE iTA^TLE IS HAUNTEP! PrfTNO- MERcy-No! Of/mm^- %^^^AAAAAA - ~ 7m ?«£Mff- $rv/v^/ si/r J \AtJ88£X. BALL, AMP /iOLL9 TO Tf/e^ By John Martiv ftUTSIDE, Ken Ravenal could hear the music beginning. ' New Orleans throbted like a plucked violjii" the subtle yet vibrant strains of the Mardi Gras running through its veins like an electric shock. Ravenal walked to the window of his father's old mansion, drew the curtains. Twilight had fallen; the moon was high and beyond the grounds the town twinkleti with the first flash of merriment. Thei. he frowned. Tonight was a night for happiness and re- velry; yet, tonight, he was chained to the ashes of a dead love. For he knew, now, that his love for Marcia Vernil was dead. It was not his fault that she had fallen ill and lay dying. Marcia had changed; no longer was she the sweet, vibrant image of loveliness \e had known. Her cheeks were drawn with wasting, her eyes feverish . . . The -phone rang, Ravenai's face crisped. He knew too well who it might be. Tht knowledge wasn't pleasant. . he began, picking up the re- "Hello?' ceiver. "Ken?" It was Marcia's father. "She's asking for you. Ken. You you'll come?" "I'll come." He put the receiver down, t)is face sullen. What did past vowa mean in the face of death? Smiling thinly. Ravenal went upstairs. Weeks ago he had ordered his Mardi Gras costume. U wa.s a gay, handsome Cavalier outfit, a costume for gallantry. And it had hung in his closet, waiting. Putting it on before a full-tength mirror, he smiled again, hia lips narrowing. After all, he decided, to part from Marcia was good sense. Not only was she mortally ill — and of no use to him, therefore — but he'd .heard rumors. Before she had been taken ill there had been faint whispers, whispers he'd paid no attention to. But now ... the whispers had grown louder. The Vernils. they paid, weren't all grace and tradition and grand old family. There had been darker things in their remote past, things done in bayous and in the »*>uttering depths of the great swamps to the acct>mpaniment of babbled witch-voices, of spells and strange chants. He didn't believe these things, still, . ^INUTBS later, the barSuche he'd called by phone drew up in front of the hou.'^e. Stepping into it with arrogance, he gave Marcia's address in the Vieux Carre, the Old Quarter of New Orleans, and was whirled away. • The house was old; it had been in the hands of the Vernils for two hundred year.'*. When the barouche swept down the ancient winding lanes and stopped before it. Ravenal got out.-Around him, the Mardi Gras merri- ment crowded thickly. Sighing, he knocked at the door. Mr. Vernil opened it. Ravenal came in without a word, swaggering, wearing a light smile. The old man looked at him and trembled with rage. "That costume." he began, fuming. "Hardly a thing to put on at such a time. Ravenal! You seem to forget that Marcia's deathly ill — or . . ." His face contracted in suspicion. ". . . do you?" Ravenal shrugged. "I haid'V think Marcia would want me to miss the Mardi Gra.t, my dear Mr. Vernil, It would scarcely he sporting!" ■"Ken! Ken!" Both men turned as the thin, wailing cry came from upstairs. The old mart's face softened. ^'She — ahe'.s in pafn, Ravenal! She knows you're here. Surely — surely you'll .see her?" Ravenal drew back. "I — I can't," he began, hesitant. "You must!" Suddenly Vernil'-'^ hawk- like eyes were turned on him. "You owe her that, Ravenal." even if— if you're dressed as you are!" Ravenal still hesitated. Then he nodded. "Very well." he said, agreeing. They went up the stairs. Ravenal walked into the roQm, Jauntily. "Oh— Ken!" The dying girl on the bed gasped. Hwr eyes widened as she saw hia Sray costume. \ I'm dying, and — and you're ..." & y. irs welled in h^r eyes. Her father rouglily pulled Ravenal out into the corridor. "You swine!" he .«aid hoarsely. His eyes flamed. "You have broken her heart!" Then they narrowed into pinpoints of intense hatred.. "True, she is dying, Ravenal. But so shall you!" The grim, cold note in Vernil's voice shook Ravenal for a, moment; he shuddered. The bJood ran cold in his veins. Then he managed to laugh. . "All men die in their time," he said. "I am still a young man !" He stood there, listen- ing, and then the faint, gasping breath from the other room ceased. Without another word he turned, ran downstairs, his heart pounding. He had to get away from that house of death, into the streets, into life and color and merriment. One last glance and the house of death, of loneliness, was left behind. He dropped into a quaint old drinking house, fortified ' himself with a bottle of wine, emerged again into the old, winding streets, ^ DA VENAL heaved a sigh of relief. The millstone of his obligations to Marcia had fallen from his neck with one bold stroke: he felt free as the wind. The wine ■made everything glow. He wandered down one lane after another, the sounds of the Mardi Gras grow- ing fainter and farther away. Suddenly he bumped into a figure, booted, cloaked, a sword dangling from its belt, not wearing a mask. "Pardon," he said. "Bien, Monsieur!" the other said, with a courtly bow. "Bon soir!" Ravenal stood and watched the man fade out of .'light. Strange, he thought; his costume was cheap and patched and old, not like his at all. It was as though — as though ... It was then he saw the girl. She'Iingered in the doorway of a house coming off an old lane. She was dressed in velvet and silks and on her face was a fetching domino mask. Ravenal .smiled. She seemed to be watching him, waiting for him to speak. He approached, gazing appreciatively at her plump arms, shapely figure. She winked and, with a tinkle of laughter. A fsw steps bo-ond him aniJ she wtk lost in the mists. But he could hear her foot- steps pattering down the cobbleatonea and now and again an engaging, contralto laugh with just a touch of come-hither appeal to xt/ She fled on, down this lane and that, leading him on until he lost his way. The lights in the streets grew duller, but the ■ further she led him, the hotter his blood grew and the faster his pulses beat Then he saw her going into a house. She cast one long, backward glance of invitation and vanished inside. He knocked boldly at the door which swung open suddenly. A heavily-masked figure appeared, sword \n hand. "Draw!" it commanded, thrusting him back. Its blade came flashing up as .Ravenal, struggling to get out his rented costume sword, fell back. With a screech of steel on steel, Ravenal's blade went flying. Then his arms flew up and out; he fell, transfixed, coughing up blood, his head swiinming, a cauldron of agony. It was madness, he knew. The Mardi Gras was a time for happiness, not blood. He heard a tinkle of laughter. Looking up, as he lay dying, he saw a window thrown open in the house; in the aperture sat the girl he had followed. Something about her made the whole house seem familiar and his wavering,, glance swung to the date on thi door. 1752, He had seen that date often, he ' rememhered. It had been carved over the: ancient house of the Vernils. But that house had been old, and this-^this house was new!; He knew what had happened now; knew how some evil, foul magfc of revenge had cast him back far into the past of New Orleans, there to die, marooned from his own time. That was the meaning of the date on the h6use, of its newness, of the dim-lit streets, of the man he had stumbled against in the lane, wearing patched, oW clothes of an ancient cut, not because of the Mardi Gras, but because he wore them every day! The girl , took off her domino. RavenaJ gasped. It was Marcia! "My father said ^vou would die, KSn.*" she whispered softly. "And you did; 'at the hand of the guardian of the House of From somewhere ■ a church-bell chimed mid nigh t—unmasking time. Through dim- ming eyes, Ravenal saw his grim, ariggd murderer take off its mask to reveal yet another—the bonv. grinning Mask M Death I mmiWePTKOADTHe/iEiS A STRANGE EmB^AL^0C ESSf 0^2. 'mNT BE LOm NOW, HUMPHREY, UNTIL / HAVE SOU. 9AFELy IN THE GROUND.' IN THE Ai£iS/^r/A1£, ) vnii'i/is . ^ - - -.^ - ~y . NOBOPy HA? THIS iTEMETERy FOR. yeAR5, AIY friend! /INO NOBOpy WILL EV^R THINK OF LOOKING FOR YOU HERE.' WHAT BETTER PLACE TO — (CHUCKLE} - HiC?E A BOW THAN IN A CEMETERY, EHT / LOOKS LIKE yOU'LL HAVE COMP^^NV, HU/HPHRey, 6UT I'M SURE HE IVON'TAIIMP SHARING WITH YOu! YOU TWO WILL BE ' $NUS AS PUG? IM A RUG HERE TOGETTieR y , *0 IN YOU GO-' f/UMPf/A£YT £AA/ you IMAGINE! 41 Circus Toys and a "BIG TOP 3 Feet aiound... ALL For Only $1-29 Yes, a gigantic collection of Circus Toys^designed to provide hours of good, wholesome fun for the entire family. Hurry. Send for your Big 3 Ring Circus Today and will inclOrde FREE a 48-page book of games and stunts. There's animals ond circus performers of strong, duroble PCASTIC, a Big Top 3 feet around. Super Side Show^Animol Cages, even a spinning Merry-Go- Round that REALLY turns! There ibling clowns, skating beara, lephamls^ ' ' ' . ng clowns, acrobats ig durable plastic, for i 2 complete sets of "Big Tap" and Circus Toys for $2.50 plus 2 FREE copies of 1000 Gomes and Stunts for every sociol occasion. 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